War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0528 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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was immediately sent to the commanding general with a renewal of the request so often made. Permission was again granted, and again the troops were on the road, when the order was given to place them in position to resist an attack upon the position then occupied. About 5 p.m., the general-in-chief arriving on the field, re-enforcements were at once ordered, and I joined General Hancock in time to get the troops posted just before dark.

The report of General Hancock will show the various messages sent me by him during the day and the answers returned by order of the commanding general. To the engagement of General Hancock's command [consisting of the Fifth Wisconsin, Sixth Maine, and Forty-ninth Pennsylvania, of the First Brigade, and the Thirty-third New York and Seventh Maine, of the Third Brigade], which took place in the afternoon, I cannot pretend to do justice. The brilliancy of he plan of battle; the coolness of its execution; the seizing of the proper instant for changing from the defensive to the offensive; the steadiness of the troops engaged, and the completeness of the victory are subjects to which I earnestly call the attention of the troops engaged, and the completeness of the victory are subjects to which I earnestly call the attention of the general-in-chief for his just praise.

The accompanying sketch,* made by Captain West, acting topographical engineer of the division, will serve to define General Hancock's position. Captain Ayres' report will be found with the accompanying documents.

Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Captain C. C. SUYDAM,

Asst. Adjt. General, Fourth Corps, Army of the Potomac.

No. 45. Report of Captain Romeyn B. Ayres,

Fifth U. S. Artillery, Chief of Artillery.

HEADQUARTERS LIGHT ARTILLERY, SMITH'S DIVISION, Camp near Williamsburg, Va., May 8, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the operations of my command for the two days of active duty, the 4th and 5th instant:

Pursuant to orders the artillery moved forward, crossing Dam No. 2 by hand, pieces unlimbered, and occupied their proper places in the column on the march. Wheeler's and Cowan's batteries were placed in position in the open space behind the woods, and about 200 yards from it, which skirts Queen's Creek.

About 10 o'clock a.m. of the 5th, pursuant to orders, I directed Cowan's battery to report to General Hancock, to move to the right with his brigade. Subsequently I sent Wheeler in the same direction with that brigade. I inclose reports of the operations of those batteries on that day.

About 12 m., pursuant to General Smith's orders, I posted four pieces of Mott's battery under his command in front of the woods, and opened fire upon the enemy's works in front about the same time that the two batteries with General Hancock opened upon the same works from the


*Not found.